George Johnston: May 3rd – London

I left Mildenhall about noon on Wednesday, but it went slowly and about six pm I saw the Crown Inn in Linton and stopped for the night.  They only had four rooms, but mine was a nice twin with bath and a full English breakfast.  After that I didn’t need to eat much more on Thursday.  I had a little over forty miles to do, but there were lots of hills and traffic and I averaged around seven miles an hour for the day.  I tried to find a hostel I had seen online, but when  I reached the address it wasn’t there.  It was in Leytonstone, but my GPS took me to street of the same name in Leyton.  After asking a few people I  figured that out, I put the name of the nearby Railway station and found it about three miles away.  Unfortunately when I arrived they were fully booked.  I ate in their restaurant and found the Thameside Hostel in London had room so l rode another seven miles there and booked two nights.

Today  I biked across Tower Bridge and through the city to the British Museum.  I enjoyed three hours there focusing on the Egyptians, Hittites, Persians and Babylonians.  From there it was a short ride to Kings Cross Station where there is a Harry Potter shop which takes your picture at a simulated platform 9 3/4.  They also have much the same merchandise as Universal Studios in Orlando.  There was a very long line to get in so I passed on that.  I spoke to one of the clerks and asked If she had any Durmstrang merchandise and her blank look made it clear you didn’t have to be familiar with the stories to work there.   I got a Scottish pie for lunch at an outdoor food market in front of the station. As the hostel also serves a full English breakfast, I didn’t need more for lunch. 

I was hoping to bike to a hostel near Reading tomorrow, and on to Bath the next, but the Reading hostel was booked, so I extended for another night in London and will split biking and a train to get to Bath on Sunday. Monday is a bank holiday, so I’ll stay there until Tuesday, so I can pick up some parts at the Moulton factory for my bike that I bought there 30 years ago.  I then head toward Plymouth to get a ferry to Spain later in the week.  

The weather has been cool and pleasant most of the time with only a few showers though many more were forecast.  I did have a flat tire yesterday, but I pumped it up a couple of times along the way and didn’t have to change it until this morning.  I had no more problems with it today.

The hostel has had school groups each days. I talked to the leader of a group from Birmingham this morning.  There was a French also, and all of them were replaced by a large Spanish group that flew in today.

Everything is going pretty well so far as I don’t have any special objectives on this trip like I have had in the past.

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